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BRIEFER MENTION Gissing, George. The Pri vate Papers of Henry Ryecroft. Ed. and Intro, by John Stewart Collis. Biblio. Notes, by Pierre Coustillas. The Unciassed. and Intro, by Jakob Korg. Brighton: Harvester Press; New York: Methuen, 1982. Paper $1U.95 Harvester and Methuen are to be commended for these reprints of Gissing's novels. Each has an informative introduction as well as a helpful bibliography. Goetsch, Paul, ed. Engl i sehe Literature Z w i sene η Viktoria ηismus Und Moderne. Darmstadt: Wi ssenschaftl iche Buchgesell schaft, 1983. This volume is a welcome edition to ELT scholarship. Editor Paul Goetsch has assembled sixteen previously-published critical essays (three from ELT), which are arranged into generic sections (background, drama, poetry, the novel); each section is prefaced with an overview. Almost all the essays are topically or historically oriented. Of special interest is Helmut Gerber's "The Nineties: Beginning, End, or Transition?" (1960), a seminal position paper which defends the authenticity of the ELT period. Gerber shows that the 9Us cannot be construed as a self-contained literary period, for the decade was transitional, a time of experimentation, "a clearing house of ideas and techniques," in the heart of a larger, more inclusive cultural period. The 9Us, Gerber argues, was only partially characterized by decadence in literature; indeed, it was the "particular combination of many major forces"--an intricate synthesis of decadence, aestheticism, naturalism, and symbol i sm —whi ch characterized the period. However, despite all the diverse crosscurrents moving within the period, Gerber discerns several emphases held in common by all writers of the era: the assertion of the artist's superiority to his audience, the reassessment of truth in art and life, and the predominace of a melancholy tone. Gerber's message remains relevant, and though the intervening quarter century has witnessed the fulfillment of many of its goals there is still much territory to be explored in this rich literary period. Steinman, Michael. Yeats's Heroic Figures: Wilde, Parnel 1 , Swi ft, Casement. Albany, NY: State Univ. of New York Press, 1984. Cloth $34.50 Paper $14.95 Steinman contends that "Separted from traditional national heroes and an orthodox religious mythology by sensitive skepticism, Yeats made a personal mythology of four heroic figures." He saw these figures as essential, "because they resembled Yeats's heroic coneption of himself." ELT readers may find particular interest in chapters 2 and 3: "Wilde '. . . Oscar ruled the table'"; "Yeats and Wilde's Art." 339 ...


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